Prime Minister, Super Value Chief Tour Bahamas Feeding Network Centre, Grocery Chain Pledges $100,000+
The nation’s leader and chief of the country’s largest food chain came together today in a rare and possibly unprecedented show of informal unity to pledge support for the Bahamas Feeding Network, the volunteer organization that has provided more than one million hot meals to those in need.
The two men, Dr. Hubert Minnis, Prime Minister, and Rupert Roberts, Jr., Super Value Chairman, toured the former Island Seafood warehouse, now converted into a massive distribution centre for the Feeding Network (BFN).
“Before the outbreak of COVID-19, we operated out of a modest cottage on Fox Hill Road where we had an assembly line of these amazing volunteers who came together twice a week to prep, cook, package and distribute hot meals,” said BFN Executive Director.
“Since the pandemic, we have had to change the way in which we help ease the pain of hunger. With social distancing, we fill cartons and parcels for up to 8,900 families every two weeks as part of the National Food Distribution Task Force. Instead of having everyone gather as we did before, the parcels are collected by organizations like The Salvation Army and local churches and soup kitchens and they distribute to individuals who depend upon them. Every parcel has to be accounted for so we are collecting a much better database, creating accountability and still trying every day and with all of our God-given strength to meet the need which, until this pandemic is behind us, is unlikely to diminish.”
That unquenchable need got a major boost from a welcome surprise by the food store chain magnate.
“We at Super Value are proud to donate the sum of $100,000 cash to the Bahamas Feeding Network,” said Roberts. “Philip (Smith) came to see me about two years ago and the commitment we made then was to watch and see what work they did. Today, I am happy to report that we have observed the Bahamas Feeding Network and applaud their efforts which have been almost beyond imagination. Week after week, month after month, they have kept up the good fight, battling this all-too-real plight of hunger in The Bahamas. We are proud to do our part and to make it possible for others to do their part through donations at check-out.”
In addition to the donation, Roberts announced that all 13 stores throughout Nassau, including Super Value and Quality Supermarkets, would be equipped to accept donations at the time of check-out.
“Government statistics put the figure at one out of every seven persons suffering from hunger when we had near full employment,” said Smith. “Today, with the inevitable economic impact that comes with trying to keep the nation as healthy as possible with this virus that has already taken the lives of more than a million people around the world, we estimate that nearly one in every two families needs some sort of food assistance.”
The Bahamas Feeding Network is also working on a sustainable feeding effort, including the introduction of community farming in the northeastern district of New Providence that includes the areas of Fox Hill and Kemp Road.
According to Smith, BFN, with the assistance of Super Value, will reach out to the Retail Grocers Association to make the effort industry-wide. AML Foods has long supported the Feeding Network, partnering with it for the Feed 5000 Program every holiday season.